This week was the week of European cakes. The contestants had to make a European cake that was raised with yeast, a Swedish princess cake or a Hungarian dobes torte. I have never made a princess cake but I have eaten cakes consisting of sponge, jam, cream and creme pat and so I decided to go with the more interesting cake raised with yeast as I have never made/eaten one before.
I decided, like some of the contestants, to make a Kugelhopf. This is traditionally a cake raised with yeast, filled with fruit and cooked in a bundt tin. Like many of the contestants I changed my flavours, I went for cardamom, orange and almond. I also had the added challenge of making it gluten and dairy free.
I have also just remembered that this months letter for alpha bakes is K and so I will enter my Kugelhopf!
This is an experiment that worked and I am so so pleased with it, it smelt good baking, looked fantastic and also tasted great. It is very interesting, it is definitely a cross between bread and cake and those with palettes used to very sweet cakes will probably take a while to adjust. It is lovely as a plainer cake and dare I say it could even be eaten as breakfast (which I did). It does not keep so long so I have sliced it and individually wrapped slices and frozen them, I will refresh in the oven when I fancy a snack or breakfast.
Orange, cardamom and almond Kugelhopf
380g GF flour (I used dove farm plain flour blend)
60g ground almonds
2 tsps xantham gum
Seeds of 15 cardamom pods, crushed in a pestle and mortar
120ml warm water
4 1/2 tsp active dried yeast (not instant yeast)
1/2 tsp sugar
120g DF spread (I used pure sunflower)
75g golden caster sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp almond extract
Zest and juice of an orange
2 tbsp caster sugar
a little melted butter to grease
slivered almonds to decorate (optional
Place the warm water, yeast, and ¼ teaspoon sugar together in a small bowl. Stir until yeast is dissolved. Set aside for 10-15 minutes until the yeast is foamy
Place 220g of the gluten-free flour in a freestanding large bowl or the large bowl of a large stand mixer. Add the xanthan gum and cardamom and mix to combine
In a small saucepan, heat the milk, butter, sugar, and salt. Stir until sugar is dissolved, do not let it boil.
In a medium bowl whisk the eggs together with the almond extract and orange zest. Carefully add the milk mixture in a slow, steady stream to the eggs and whisk well. Be sure to add the milk slowly so it doesn't curdle the eggs.
Turn the mixer on low, or using a hand held electric whisk add the milk and egg mixture in a slow steady stream to the flour mix. Raise the speed to medium and mix until smooth. Lower the speed and add the remaining flour and ground almonds. The dough should be fairly sticky and smooth, but not too stiff. Turn off mixer and let dough stand for a few minutes.
Grease a bundt pan with melted butter. if desired stick slivered almonds onto the sides of the greased pan.
Carefully transfer the dough to the pan and smooth it evenly. Brush the top with the melted butter to prevent it drying out.
Cover with cellophane or place in a bag and let rise for 45-60 minutes in a warm place. The dough won't have doubled, but it will have risen quite a bit.
While the dough is rising preheat the oven to GAS MARK 6 . Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden and baked through.
Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
To make a glaze put the remaining sugar and orange juice in a pan and heat gently until the sugar had dissolved, turn up the heat and reduce until the mixture is syrupy. Brush this over the cooled cake then enjoy.